The Giant's Causeway

Giant's Causeway Travel Blog

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After a day of crummy food, Shyla had set rules for today - a traditional Irish breakfast with soda bread, and either a shepard's pie or an Irish stew for lunch. Luckily, we were able to do both - and see the most stunning natural site in Ireland, the Giant's Causeway.

We had to refill the car after our long day driving, and paid the most I've ever seen for petrol - £1.16/litre (that is $2.40/litre for Australians and $8.56/gallon for Americans). Although since Ireland is so small, I doubt most people have to fill up very regularly. We drove to Ballycastle for breakfast above a bakery, which was simply delightful. I had eggs and fried mushrooms, with a pot of tea and a fruit scone, while Luke and Shyla tried the Irish fry-up with soda bread. Just the smell whifting from the bakery was amazing.
I haven't eaten such amazing baked goods since the last time I drove from Canberra to Adelaide and stopped in at the Narrandara bakery.

From Ballycastle to Carrick-a-Rede. Famous at Carrick-a-Rede is the rickety rope bridge which has been used by fishermen for 350 years. The bridge is now stable with iron cables, taking away any of the novelty, but it did make a good excuse to walk along the coast and out onto the bluff, seeing the nesting seabirds on the cliffs and the heath meadows framing the deep blue and turquoise ocean.

From Ballycastle we drove along the coast to the Giant's causeway. The Causeway is another of the three World Heritage sites in Ireland. It is a rock formation starting at the coast and diving into the ocean, formed by basaltic lava cooling rapidly, such that the contraction caused fracturing of the lava bed into hexagonal columns.
The Irish legend about the Causeway is that it was built by Fionn mac Cumhaill in order to walk from Ireland to Scotland to fight Benandonner. After building the causeway he was so tuckered out he had to have a nap, and Benandonner crossed over the bridge for the fight. Fionn's wife Oonagh laid a blanket over Fionn, and told Benandonner than Fionn was just her tiny baby. Imaging how big Fionn himself must have been Benandonner ran back to Scotland, ripping up the causeway. In Scotland at Fingal's Cave there is a similar formation, representing the other end of the Causeway. The coast along this region was simply beautiful. We had perfect weather, deep blue skies and strong sun, the ocean was gorgeous and the rock formations were interesting.

To fulfil Shyla's second gastronomic imperative, we headed down the road to Bushmills to eat at the Bushmills Distillary kitchen, for Irish Stew, Shepherd's Pie and Pasta Bake, washed down with Guinness.

shirlan says:
Reading about the soda bread, although that has never been my favourite, it made me want 'potato farls'. My dad always made them and although I make them sometimes, they are never the same. Just one of many memories of my dad. I also have friends that just returned from Ireland (he is from Dublin) and they brought me a teatowel with a recipe for 'champ', something my mum cooked. Again, something I rarely cook but more memories.
Posted on: Jun 10, 2008
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Giant's Causeway
photo by: paulkernan